US Navy’s Guam-based Mark VI Patrol Boats assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1 recently completed a 500 nautical mile long-range transit, in a test of the boats’ operational reach. This marks the longest transit the Mark VI patrol boats have made in the Pacific. CRG 1, Detachment Guam, is assigned to Commander, Task Force 75, the primary expeditionary task force responsible for the planning and execution of coastal riverine operations, explosive ordnance disposal, diving engineering and construction, and underwater construction in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The successful transit helped gauge the operational reach of the MK VI Patrol Boats to provide reliable planning factors and considerations to navigate MK VI Patrol Boats to Yap, Federated States of Micronesia.
Mark VI patrol boats have been utilized recently during Super Typhoon Yutu relief efforts in Tinian and Saipan. They were instrumental in delivering service members from joint services, supplies and equipment that was essential in recovery efforts. The transit tested the operational reach of the Mark VI Patrol Boat while taking into consideration the effects of fuel burn rates, crew fatigue, weather and boat reliability. During the transit, the patrol boats accomplished an average speed of 25 knots with well-kept conditions for the crew. CRG 1 Det. CRG 1 Det. Guam is assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 75, the primary expeditionary task force responsible for the planning and execution of coastal riverine operations, explosive ordnance disposal, diving engineering and construction, and underwater construction in the U.S. 7th fleet area of operations.
The Mark VI is a class of patrol boat in service with the United States Navy, designed to patrol riverine and littoral waters. The Mark VI is 84.8 ft (25.8 m) long, significantly longer than previous classes of Navy patrol boats. US Navy Mark VI Patrol Boats conducted longest transit ever made in the Pacific[/caption]The aluminum-hulled Mark VI is powered by two MTU 16V2000M94 diesel engines connected to water jets that propel it faster than 35 kn (40 mph; 65 km/h), with a maximum range of 600 nmi (690 mi; 1,100 km). It has a crew of 10 sailors and can carry 8 additional personnel. The interior is spacious, with berthing for the crew and shock-absorbing seats for other occupants; the seats and sound deadening berthing spaces and galley allow the crew to operate in high sea states in comfort.
Standard armament consists of two remote-controlled Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm chain guns and six crewed M2 .50 caliber machine guns. Depending on mission needs, gun mounts can hold M240 machine guns, M134 miniguns, and Mk 19 grenade launchers. The Mark VI is equipped with the MK50 Gun Weapon System (GWS), a shipboard version of the vehicle-mounted M153 CROWS remote turret that enables crewmen to use its camera and gun from the operator’s station below deck. It is also planned to mount guided missiles such as the BGM-176B Griffin. Armor plating, able to withstand small-arms fire, is around key elements such as the engines and fuel tank.